Deschutes Brewery is in town this week for its Base Camp tour of Missoula and is hosting events around town all the rest of the week (check out a schedule here.) Among them is a beer dinner at Caffe Dolce on Thursday night. Cost is $45/person or $80/couple. There are two seating sections each with 24 spaces, with the first from 5:30-7 p.m. and the second from 7:30-9 p.m. Seating is limited, so make sure to call (406) 830-3055 beforehand to make reservations. (more…)
You know craft beer has permeated your life when you see Stone Imperial Stout flavored gelato at your local cafe. That craft beer should become a part of your dessert vocabulary is not surprising given how people have taken to things like beer floats and pairing chocolate with stout beers and barrel-aged beers. What surprises me is how few people understand how approachable craft beer is, whether served in a bottle, a can, a glass or whipped into your favorite dessert.
A quick trip around Missoula’s taprooms will produce a myriad of beer flavors and styles that only a beer geek could understand. And yet so little is done to educate people on how craft beer can enhance their lives. A quick taste of that Stone Imperial Stout gelato would reveal that it’s a tremendously rich dessert with all kinds of depth to it, and yet it was the fullest container in the display case. That tells me that people are unwilling to try it or that it’s so popular they’ve had to pull out a fresh tray. I’m going to go with the first possibility.
My point here is that craft beer can be consumed in fine glassware, made into dessert or used to prepare a whole chicken on the grill. And yet the majority of the population has no idea that such a varied product exists for more than just plain old drinking.
I’m grateful for all the beer geeks out there who keep shops like Worden’s stocking great beer and places like Caffe Dolce serving up stout-flavored gelato. But it’s time for breweries to start reaching out beyond the traditional craft beer consumers, i.e., beer geeks. Craft beer should be a household word, and there should be a growler in a place of honor in every refrigerator.
When I think of salt of the earth, I think of cowboys. I don’t know if the connotation is even correct, it’s just what comes to mind. After sipping on a Cowboy Coffee Porter at Big Sky Brewing Company yesterday, and after beer mavens Mel and Alix spoke of a legendary dessert known only as “The Beer Float,” I decided to call my wife and ask her to pick up some Ben & Jerrys on her way home so I could be reminded of why I love the combination of my favorite adult beverage mixed with my favorite childhood treat.
This is going to be the easiest recipe you’ll ever get. Any person (idiot) can make this dessert. And your friends will think you’ve been attending Le Cordon Bleu on the side.
Beer Float -
One growler of Big Sky Brewing Company Cowboy Coffee Porter (or substitute another dark, rich stout or porter of your choice, but only if Big Sky is out of Cowboy Coffee Porter)
One pint of your favorite vanilla ice cream (I’ve tried it with Rocky Road, and it just didn’t work at all)
Take three good-size scoops of ice cream and put them in a pint glass with plenty of space between them. Then pour the beer slowly around the ice cream until it forms dark and light patches. Take a spoon and taste a little of the beer and ice cream before they blend completely into a chocolaty, coffee, malty, sweet, vanilla-y blessed beverage.